The Wildlife Without Borders-Africa program is helping African people and institutions to better manage and conserve species and habitats.

MENTOR-FOREST initiative fellows in Africa

Credit: USFWS

The Congo Basin forest is globally important as a reservoir for biodiversity and a sink for atmospheric carbon.  These forests, however, are being rapidly diminished by logging and other extractive industries, such as mining.  Timber concessions occupy 30-45% of all remaining tropical forests in the Congo Basin. Weak governance and limited knowledge and resources have hurt the ability of governments in Central Africa to promote sustainable logging practices.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a signature initiative in the Congo Basin to engage a diverse group of local professionals and address the issues related to forest and wildlife conservation in Central Africa.

The MENTOR-FOREST Program (Mentoring for ENvironmental Training in Outreach and Resource conservation), in partnership with Parks Gabon, is addressing wildlife conservation and promoting forest stewardship through an innovative two-year Master’s degree program.  MENTOR-FOREST brings together a diverse group of nine Central African forest resource and conservation professionals, as well as individuals trained in sociology, law and public health, to work together as a team to identify new forest stewardship strategies, monitor wildlife populations, and ultimately enhance the sustainable management of forests in the Congo Basin.